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TOP 10 of the Most Successful Foreign Investors in Latvia

Edition VIP Lounge in collaboration with Lursoft published a ranking of successful foreign businessmen, foreign owners of the Latvian companies. In total, a foreign dozen earned 80 million euro per year in Latvia. We offer to look closer at them.

1. Dmitry Mazepin — 23.9 million euro

Although one of the largest companies in Latvia according to its turnover - Uralchem Trading officially belongs to the Cyprus offshore, we know that the notorious Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin stands behind it, telling himself about it in an interview to the Latvian media. According to Forbes, he owns 95% of the company „Uralkhim” today, producing a quarter of ammonium nitrate in Russia and is the leader in this segment. However, if his fortune was estimated at 3.2 billion dollars in the past year, in this it is only 1.4 billion dollars. The reason is a sharp deterioration of the conjuncture in the global fertilizer market.

The Latvian company successfully serves the export direction: the company's turnover reached 1.12 billion euro last year, earnings 23.9 million euro. Precise information on the shareholder structure of the Cyprus offshore is unknown, but... with a considerable degree of probability can be assumed that most of the profit “has to do with Mr. Mazepin.

2. Dermot Desmond 20.5 million euro

One of the largest shareholders of JSC Rietumu banka, who controls 33.11% of the company`s capital, has been involved as an investor in August, 2005. Fortune of the well-known in Europe Hunter of Undervalued Assets, a citizen of Ireland, is estimated in two billion dollars by the magazine Forbes. One of the largest of his deals is buying shares of the capital of the London airport in 1995, which he resold profitable in 2006. He owns the football club of the Irish Premier League "Celtic". He is known as an avid golfer.

According to the audit report, the profit of the group of JSC Rietumu banka, which includes more than a dozen of subsidiaries was 61.55 million euro last year. Accordingly, the share of Mr. Desmond is 20.5 million euro.

3. John Tully 11.8 million euro

A citizen of the USA and a business partner of not too well-known to the general public Arnis Riekstinsh, with whom he equally controls Mikrotikls, Ltd. a large manufacturer of equipment for wireless internet.

We do not know much about him: he came to Latvia in the early 1990s, he married a Latvian woman, most of his time he spends in Riga. According to experts, successfully global sales of the company are carried out thanks to John Tully, while the Latvian shareholder A. Riekstinsh allegedly is largely responsible for the iron.

Well, in any case the result is impressive: the company has overcome the indication of sales of 100 million euro and earned 23.6 million of profit for the first time last year. Also, Mr. Tully fully owns the company Maksina, Ltd., whose contribution to the welfare of the American, however, is still small: it earned 4 400 euro last year.

4. Yuri Scheffler 5.4 million euro

Indirect owner of the famous vodka brands Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya, a native of Russia, a citizen of Israel, sometimes a resident of Jurmala, controls 86.45% of the largest alcohol producer JSC Latvijas balsams in the Baltic States through the structure of the S.P.I. group.

The company, which increases earnings for the third year in a row and develops the export of its products to Russia, Ukraine and China, earned 6.23 million euro last year; 5.39 million of whose belong to the S.P.I. group owned by Mr. Scheffler. A curious fact: there are such famous people as the Russian billionaire Petr Aven and a former Prime Minister of Latvia Aigars Kalvitis in the board of LB, which is indirectly owned by Mr. Scheffler.

5. Igor Kim 4.6 million euro

This well-known in Russia businessman wholly owns one of the oldest banks in Latvia JSC Expobank since 2012, opened back in 1991. A Latvian institution almost does not get in the local news lines, working with non-residents and earns good. Net profit of the bank amounted to 4.62 million euro last year.

Igor Kim is known as a banker in Russia, who owns 69% of Expobank (by the way, this bank has come under the sanctions of the Canadian government dated for the joining of the Crimea to Russia). Also, Kim owns a chain of restaurants Food Master and about 40,000 meters of commercial real estate in Novosibirsk. He was twice voted in Russia as Banker of the Year. The capital of a businessman was estimated in 460 million dollars by the magazine Forbs in 2013.

6. Jon Helgi Gudmunson 3.4 million euro

An Icelandic businessman who has been working in Latvia for long time first arrived in our country for business intelligence back in 1993. The sole owner of Norfolk, Ltd. is a holding company that unites the Latvian assets of an Icelandic entrepreneur. It earned the above-mentioned profit.

However, he is better known for the purchase of 51% of the bank Norvik (then Lateko banka) at his time, which was announced in 2006. Later, however, it turns out that this investment is not too successful and the Icelandic capital will be off of the bank. In 2006, Mr. Gudmunson also acquired a company producing household chemical goods Spodriba (data about the current shareholders are not available) and one of the nation's largest producers of lumber Vika Wood, which today is a part of the Icelandic concern of Mr. Gudmunsona - Norvik.

7. Balram Chiang Rai 3.1 million euro

One more foreign shareholder of JSC Rietumu banka. Almost unknown in Latvia British citizen and a resident of Hong Kong became the owner of 5% of shares of Rietumu after the crisis in March, 2010, buying up shares from one of the former owners. At that time his general capital was estimated at one billion dollars.

The main activity in the homeland is the production and sale of electrical and computer engineering. In addition, he invests in real estate, hotel business and the entertainment. He has not been seen in the Latvian public space.

Since the profit of the group of JSC Rietumu banka was 61.55 million euro, Chiang Rai has 3.1 million euro.

8. Heinrich Strenge 3 million euro

A German citizen who is not well-known to the general public wholly owns Florabalt, Ltd. and Kudras Energija,Ltd.: both companies are engaged in extraction of peat and provided its owner with 1.6 and 1.4 million of profit respectively.

9. Igor Sokol 2.4 million euro

A citizen of the USA and the largest shareholder (35%) of the stevedoring company Alpha Osta, Ltd., operating in the Port of Riga with transit cargo of mineral fertilizers. This company earned 6.8 million profits last year. He lives in Boston, visits Latvia, does not seek for publicity. He does not have any other companies in Latvia at the moment, but he was one of the founders of the well-known company such as Mono in the 1990s.

10. Stephan David Balkin 1.9 million euro

Danish citizen and owner of 82.7% of JSC Tukuma piens, which is a large dairy plant, selling products under the brand "Baltais" with an annual turnover of 49 million euro.

The company earned 2.3 million euro last year, which provides Mr. Balkin a place in the top ten 10 of the most-earning foreigners in Latvia.